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A Fine Romance: Jazz & Valentine's Day

Vuyo Sotashe (L) and Brianna Thomas (R) perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

"The stars fill the sky / So in love with you am I," wrote Cole Porter in "So In Love," one of countless adored songs within the Great American Songbook, and performed with stirring reverence by vocalist Brianna Thomas in this week's concert.

The holiday setlist from Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2018 reads like a love letter to the tradition, with numbers that highlight the many different matters of the heart, specifically frustration, longing and joy. And singer Vuyo Sotashe, alongside Thomas and the appropriately named Valentine's Day Big Band, navigate these emotions expertly.

We'll also toast the musical relationship known as the duet with some tracks from our host Christian McBride's favorite pairings, as well as scorching takes of "Miss Brown To You" and "I Cried For You" from our concert.

If you're in the mood for the "roses and teddy bears" kind of love, fear not. There's also plenty of swoon-worthy sweetness in the assortment for you to enjoy.

Musicians:

Riley Mulherkar, music director/trumpet; Vuyo Sotashe, vocals; Brianna Thomas, vocals; Tatum Greenblatt, trumpet; Mariel Bildsten, trombone; Julian Lee, reeds; Lucas Pino, reeds; Immanuel Wilkins, alto saxophone; Gabe Schnider, guitar; Chris Pattishall, piano; Barry Stephenson, bass; Sammy Miller, drums

Set List:

  • "Sing Me A Swing Song" (Hoagy Carmichael / Stanley Adams)
  • "So In Love" (Cole Porter)
  • "While We're Young" (Alex Wilder / Morty Palitz)
  • "Miss Brown To You" (Richard A. Whiting / Ralph Rainger / Leo Robin)
  • "I Cried For You" (Gus Arnheim / Abe Lyman / Arthur Freed)
  • "I Loves You, Porgy" (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin)
  • "God Bless The Child" (Billie Holiday / Arthur Herzog Jr.)
  • Credits:

    Writer and Producer: Trevor Smith; Host: Christian McBride; Music Engineer: Rob Macomber; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann and Gabrielle Armand; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey.

    Copyright 2021 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.